nexa: "The goal is to focus on next year and become a top 3 team in the world"

Kicking off our coverage at the Champions Cup Finals is an interview with Damien "⁠maLeK⁠" Marcel and Nemanja "⁠nexa⁠" Isaković following their Group B opening match victory over BIG.

G2 opened their Champions Cup Finals account with a 16-13 win over BIG on Inferno in Group B's initial matchup, with the French side set to play Hard Legion later on in the group's best-of-three winners' match.

maLeK's men are gearing up for a successful 2020

In the interview, maLeK and nexa gave some insight into the aftermath of cs_summit 5, their recent packed travel schedule, aims for the Champions Cup Finals, as well as what the future holds for G2.

I'd like to start things off by talking a bit about cs_summit 5. You come into the Champions Cup Finals, your final event of the year, off the back of an unexpected loss to mousesports in the summit grand final, where they fielded two stand-ins. What were the team's emotions like after this unpredictable result and how did you reset coming into this tournament?

maLeK: Okay, first, like every sportsman, you get into the emotion of a loss and so the first minutes, maybe the first hour, people are just disappointed and even feel some shame. We should give respect to them for what they did, but this is the first feeling. Afterwards, you regroup and you talk with the team and learn from it - this is the only thing you can do.

We are very lucky because we spend a lot of time together and the team is working very well outside of the game as well, so we are able to speak together and have a common goal. We are all on the same page when we win and we know now that even with a shame loss, we are still sticking together very well. Now we are jumping into this tournament feeling good and just try focus on each game and do as best as we can.

Taking into consideration the amount of time you have spent on the road, with the likes of CS:GO Asia Championships 2019, ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals and cs_summit 5, what has the preparation been like going into this event? Have you had much time to go over anything?

maLeK: We are doing two things that are interesting for us right now. First is getting a lot of experiences with the boys with so many matches and travelling - you need to learn how to do that because tier 1 CS nowadays is what you see on the stream, on game day; but this is also what is happening every day in the daily life of a professional gamer. We are learning how to put in a system that is working for all of us and this year is great to have a lot of data, in the two months we travelled so much, but it is a lot of good information for us next year.

Secondly, yes, we prepared differently. We are definitely not playing CS like most people do at home. What we do is working with ourselves and every day we ask the question of "how do we win today?". And we make sure that we have the answer, make a plan, go into the server and practice with nobody in front of us and just develop a plan and make sure all the executions in our game are clean. After this, we jump into a real game and apply it the best that we can.

In 2020, we will bootcamp and practice a lot to gain some good fundamentals and it will help the team massively, for sure.

Now focusing more on this event, you've just come out of your opening matchup against BIG with a close scoreline (16-13). How important is it for you to get this first win under your belt at the beginning of the tournament?

nexa: I think it is really important we get off on the right foot, especially considering we came from America and it's not always that easy to bring yourself into the tournament fully focused - physically and mentally - on the game, so it was really important we won this match. It's great to be able to play our own game and be happy playing even after the loss at summit. So, for me, I was really happy to see my boys put the summit final behind them and focus only on this event, taking it game by game, day by day.

Next up you have Hard Legion in the Group B winners' match. What do you make of the Russian squad and how do you think you will perform against them?

nexa: I think they are really good; they're underrated. I played them when I was back with CR4ZY in the StarLadder Challengers Stage. It was also a best-of-three and it was a very hard game. They are not to be underestimated as they are a really strong team and they can surprise anyone. If we lost, I wouldn't be extremely surprised, but I expect us to win anyway.

Coming into the Champions Cup Finals you guys are the highest-ranked team, do you see yourselves as the favourites?

nexa: Yeah, there's no doubt about it. It's just... the question is: can we live up to it?

Finally, I would like to talk about your current HLTV Ranking. You currently sit at 11th position just outside of the top 10. What would it mean to the team to break into the top 10 for the end of the year, going into 2020?

nexa: I don't think it makes any difference if we are in the top 15 or the top 10. For me, it would have been great if we finished top 5, and we had our chances but some things just didn't go as planned. We are where we are right now, so it doesn't matter where we finish this year as I know, and the rest of the team knows, this team was planned for the long term for 2020. The goal is to focus on next year and become a top 3 team in the world.

Serbia Nemanja 'nexa' Isaković
Nemanja 'nexa' Isaković
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
816
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.63
France Damien 'maLeK' Marcel
Damien 'maLeK' Marcel
Age:
35
Team:
EZ FOR G2!
2019-12-19 19:29
9 replies
50 / 50 - yes or no
2019-12-19 19:46
Top 1 for the next 16 years like Angela Merkel has been from 2005 until 2021
2019-12-19 19:55
2 replies
#79
 | 
Europe funk1rider
heuhauehauehuaehaue
2019-12-19 20:22
1 reply
Jajajaj kkkkkk xaxaxa
2019-12-19 20:28
LOL no! Can't even beat mouz with coach and tier 4 awper standing in...
2019-12-19 20:03
3 replies
Tier 4? Natosaphix is a good player.
2019-12-20 05:29
2 replies
I thought so too, but he hasnt proven anythig for so long.
2019-12-20 21:44
1 reply
Ok. That's true.
2019-12-21 19:45
G2 organisation has been one of the least successful T1/t2 org considering the amount they invest and the players are always in the adjusting to each other phase. I am stuck supporting a team that never wins.
2019-12-20 08:53
G2 top5 soon!! KennyS French horse will soon activate godmode.
2019-12-19 19:37
8 replies
6 replies
#58
 | 
Myanmar xdcc
6v5 unfair advantage to mouse
2019-12-19 19:50
2 replies
lol
2019-12-19 19:50
+1 fake german team and cheaters 6v5 noobs
2019-12-19 19:51
2 replies
Still not as sad as losing to a coach and a stand-in lmao
2019-12-20 15:17
1 reply
Curry and no_one are worse than rejin and nato and don't even dare compare the 3 others with the core of mouz.
2019-12-20 17:19
Yeees
2019-12-19 20:16
Who cars
2019-12-19 19:29
1 reply
me, I have a Nissan
2019-12-19 20:23
#4
 | 
Netherlands PasscaLl
So fucking doable tbh
2019-12-19 19:29
2 replies
They cant even win against a coach Hahahaha
2019-12-19 19:38
They cant even win against a coach and a stand-in Hahahaha
2019-12-19 20:19
#5
 | 
Netherlands Boutdis
Top 3? Atleast get to tier 3 first
2019-12-19 19:29
12 replies
You see how fast it can go with mouz, from top 15 to top 3
2019-12-19 19:33
11 replies
#47
 | 
Europe GAALKINo_O
Sadly they will never play as good as mouz
2019-12-19 19:44
10 replies
Well mousesports didnt play good until last 3 events
2019-12-19 19:46
9 replies
So fckin tru
2019-12-19 20:26
ye... and they weren't top 5. G2 will never play as good as mouz does now
2019-12-19 23:09
7 replies
its to early... the team was made like 3 months ago maybe less.
2019-12-19 23:32
6 replies
I get your point, but still they can't be better than mouz is now... Trust me :)
2019-12-20 04:39
5 replies
U got to make an argument I cant just trust u bcuz ur a mouz fan rofl
2019-12-20 14:37
4 replies
Let's see my friend
2019-12-20 15:39
3 replies
#142
pm | 
France Dim2dex
Delusional boy will cry in 2020
2019-12-20 17:02
2 replies
Another G2 crybaby, let's wait and see just to guarantee that they will not get top 5 with this lineup
2019-12-20 19:52
1 reply
why the hate for g2 why not b oth of mouz and g2 can be in the top 5 rofl don't tell me ur just mad at them because they lost you some money
2019-12-20 20:49
Top 3 in france maybe
2019-12-19 19:30
11 replies
+1
2019-12-19 19:30
kkkkkkk
2019-12-19 19:35
+1
2019-12-19 19:37
cr4zy died for this btw Could've been an upcoming tier1 team, best in balkan region. But g2 needed 2 more aimers instead of a proper igl
2019-12-19 19:38
1 reply
And u cant say no to money, too bad it was a great team.
2019-12-19 19:47
Danish subtop: -N♿rth -Her♿ic -Mad Li♿ns ♿MEGALUL
2019-12-19 19:39
3 replies
Pog
2019-12-19 20:27
Pog
2019-12-19 22:37
French scene : - Zywoo - ...
2019-12-19 22:44
+1
2019-12-19 19:54
+1
2019-12-20 08:09
top 3? g2? what?
2019-12-19 19:30
Top3? Are you fuck you?
2019-12-19 19:30
2 replies
No you are fuck you men ((((
2019-12-19 20:27
1 reply
Wtf men)))
2019-12-20 06:34
If Mouz did it, you can do it too
2019-12-19 19:30
Top 3 losing to coach and stand-in, LUL
2019-12-19 19:30
1 reply
G2 max top 10
2019-12-19 19:31
The answer is no
2019-12-19 19:31
Top 3 lmao I hope he is kidding
2019-12-19 19:31
Only if old kenny is back
2019-12-19 19:31
7 replies
He's back. Didn't help.
2019-12-19 19:33
6 replies
No he isn't. His reaction time has either worsened, or there is too much stuff going on the map to focus on.
2019-12-19 19:48
5 replies
A person's reaction time got worse after getting older? Impossible!
2019-12-19 19:59
4 replies
#68
 | 
Austria doMK0
He is just 24 wtf
2019-12-19 20:02
3 replies
you think your reaction time doesnt get worse until 30 or what
2019-12-21 00:56
2 replies
#149
 | 
Austria doMK0
There are several scientific studies on this, of course it gets worse, but the range is in the millisceonds, some studies predict a decline at 0.5 ms per year e. g. this one ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8014399 So if tabsen is 24, he has now a reaction time that is 3ms slower than when he was 18, so you think that is the deciding factor?
2019-12-21 07:04
1 reply
well you or anyone else never said his reaction time is bad, the only thing someone said is that it got worse
2019-12-21 20:16
Just stfu nexa, 4 months and you haven't beaten any of the current hltv top 8 in BO3, you couldn't even win summit with shitty teams with stand-ins or new players and you lost to Tyloo and ATK. When you are top 5 maybe talk about getting top 3, but right now you are #14.
2019-12-19 19:31
1 reply
They are #11 Did you read the Interview ?
2019-12-20 09:14
good joke
2019-12-19 19:31
#18
 | 
Russia ToughGuy
ahahahahah thx for laugh
2019-12-19 19:31
#19
 | 
Finland N1ggers
You can’t believe in yourself!!! -hltv
2019-12-19 19:32
#20
bew | 
India Women
Maybe make more realistic goals so G2 stops becoming a laughing stock
2019-12-19 19:32
ahahahhahahahahhahahahahaha wtf ahahahahhaa
2019-12-19 19:32
You should make the lineup fully International . Kick jackz . Find a young talent who can frag . frozen , meyern for example .
2019-12-19 19:33
3 replies
#34
 | 
Albania Edjon
implying frozen would leave mouz for g2
2019-12-19 19:36
Meyern hahahah 1.04 rating vs few good teams and vs 1000 tier 99 teams
2019-12-19 19:48
jackz is good lol, he just struggles with english coms
2019-12-19 20:22
#25
sausol | 
Switzerland x676
hahahahahahahahahaha top 3, ROOOOOOOFLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL xDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD
2019-12-19 19:34
delusional af
2019-12-19 19:34
OMEGALUL
2019-12-19 19:34
Top3 not possible
2019-12-19 19:36
JUST IN DREAM
2019-12-19 19:36
#35
 | 
Andorra szkk
xaxaxaxaxaxax
2019-12-19 19:37
First step is to get in the top10
2019-12-19 19:39
TOP3 BTW KEKW
2019-12-19 19:40
TOP 3 KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK
2019-12-19 19:40
*Takes a deep breath* WHEEEEEEEZE
2019-12-19 19:41
Hahahah, not top 5, but top 3! Although with consistency, G2 will definitely be a tier 1 team
2019-12-19 19:43
#48
grux | 
Australia Kladiz
Just get consistency, everyone who understand CS know your potential, keep going !
2019-12-19 19:45
1 reply
+1
2019-12-19 19:54
HAHAHAAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAA
2019-12-19 19:48
Defuse that bomb first kekw
2019-12-19 19:50
#61
 | 
Germany grabke
lol not going to happen for sure maybe top 10 on a consistent basis but nothing more.
2019-12-19 19:53
#65
 | 
Chile strong221
good one nemanja 2
2019-12-19 19:55
bruh comedian
2019-12-19 20:05
kick_amanek_ffs to ZywOo
2019-12-19 20:10
A coach a manager
2019-12-19 20:13
this will age well
2019-12-19 20:17
2 replies
Nah i dont think so. Losing to a coach and stand-in. Omegalul
2019-12-19 20:21
1 reply
thats what i mean, theyll fail and this will be bookmarked lmfao
2019-12-19 20:21
Gtier22
2019-12-19 20:20
#87
 | 
Norway Noreg
kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
2019-12-19 20:28
#88
 | 
Europe Markss
Their highs are really fkn high but they have some terrible lows. They need to get consistent.
2019-12-19 20:46
Kkkkkkkkkkkk
2019-12-19 20:59
#90
 | 
China withsn
u mean lose to one stand in and on coach?
2019-12-19 21:06
>top3 >losing to 2k elo coach and stand-in
2019-12-19 21:07
Top 3 in france maybe
2019-12-19 21:08
#93
 | 
Denmark zorglubx
I have much more respect for this rooster than the one before it, a lot more will to win, but of course they also can fail hard sometimes. Just one more team who want to be top5, maybe 20 teams want this, so obviously someone will have to bow out, but who? =)
2019-12-19 21:10
#95
who | 
Bulgaria No_1One
omegalul
2019-12-19 21:25
Don't forget to diffuse the bomb and you'll be alright
2019-12-19 21:27
XD
2019-12-19 22:03
#98
 | 
Russia GramDEL
Top 3 lmao
2019-12-19 22:16
#99
 | 
Germany Shackrag
top 3... try not losing to a team with coach and standin first xD
2019-12-19 22:18
#100
 | 
United States codgun
Apparently top3 of 2020 will be 1. Astralis 2. G2 3. Mad Lions
2019-12-19 22:26
#105
 | 
Russia ArtyoMM
haahahahahahahha top 3 loosing to 2 stand ins ahahahhahaha
2019-12-19 23:46
#106
 | 
Spain DaNNyKS
Ez 4 G2 new rooster, new lenguage and they seem rlly good right now, maybe a little bit inconsistent but rlly good :)
2019-12-20 01:06
Focus on top 10 first
2019-12-20 01:20
Top3...I dont know what this guy is smoking but I want some
2019-12-20 05:52
#115
 | 
Estonia RopzTop1
Before top 3, maybe beating coaches first?
2019-12-20 06:02
1 reply
+1
2019-12-20 06:37
-amanek +ropz Top3
2019-12-20 06:22
2 replies
#120
 | 
Estonia RopzTop1
nooooo lol i want ropz to still have a career
2019-12-20 07:10
1 reply
Mouz will not sell ropz to G2. Relax! :)
2019-12-20 08:36
disband
2019-12-20 09:11
G2 nice joke a top3 :D you can't beat mousesport with coach :)) best what you can get top5
2019-12-20 11:53
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